tv Prime News HLN November 14, 2009 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
iraq, i believe there are also underlying forces, currents that are equally if not more import and then events designed by policymakers and individuals. i think this is the format i am going to use to try to visualize the kind of iraq that we may see in 2020. i think i will spend a few minutes reviewing past decades in iraq, and to see out in some cases predictions based on just events of the moment and the prescriptions of policy makers lead nowhere. in the 1950's, iraq was known as the most advanced developing countries in the middle east, starting with massive increases
in oil revenues. . . it was part of the baghdad pact based on the iraqi-turkish, pakistan, iranian and british alliance. we ended that decade or the short decade of the 1950s with a world class evolution as far as we were concerned which took us out of the baghdad pact and put us firmly into the camp of neutrals and for a short time in neutrals and for a short time in the camp of the pro communists. the 1960s were -- you could not make any predictions starting from 1960 because iraq was as i said neutralist, pro communist. ended up as arab nationalist regime dominated by the baath party. the 1970s or the long '70s as i saul them was the period where the baathist dictatorship
consolidated itself and ended up in one of the great disasters of modern middle east history, which is the iran-iraq war. that decade was dominated by the war. it was punk waited by another incredible move. so if you started the 1980s thinking that iraq is going to dominate the middle east by neutralizing the iranian revolution, you ended up with the invasion of kuwait of the and if you started predicting in 1990 what will happen in the year 2000, you had iraq under sanctions and under international control. and of course anybody who looked at iraq in the year 2000 could hardly predict where we are today. all i'm trying to note here is a side warning of caution that whatever we think ought to happen might not necessarily happen. i tried to divide my views in terms of number of conceptual categories. one of them relates to,
obviously, the political divisions inside the country. we've heard about the terrible nature of sectarianism and how bad it is and so on. will iraq be based on -- will the basis of politics in 2020 be based on sectarianism, religious politics, a kind of iraqi nationalism or a variant of modern liberal democratic thought. if i was going to stick my neck out, i would say, no, it's going to be based on sectarian affinity. several decades of democratic politics in lebanon have not really changed the patterns mos continues to vote for sunnis and arab for arabs and kurds continue to vote for kurds. whether den through monosectarian group or rather
through individual groups or parties that focus on sectarian identity. i think it's probably the latter. it will not be a definitively sectarian but there will not be a national basis, which voters cross ethnic and sectarian boundaries. i find that difficult to see how this would happen. so for better or worse, the long that affected iraq in 2003 was a fundamental shift in power from one community to the next, if that is how you want to view the progress of iraqi politics. and many iraqi politicians now that this is safely behind us still view it in these terms. the institutions that have emerged as a result of the 2003 appeal, are they going to last? i think some of them will. parliament, parliamentary forms of government, electoral politics, these, i think, will continue to be the mechanism by
which disputes are resolved in iraq, but whether this mean there's is a deep democratic and parliamentary culture which has emerged, again, sticking my neck out i would say, no. parliament will be a neck nicme by which conflicts are resolved and negotiated but not have a its own and neither will democratic culture and the understanding of it in terms of various institutions or talk of the habits of the heart. this i think will be a long, long time, if at all into the iraqi body of politic. we may tolerate and accommodate each oh but that's a far, far cry from being part of, or believing in the ideals of classical liberal democracy. and the area of economics, what kind of economy i would like to
see? i would like to see one that is dominated by the state. i would like to see a market-driven economy. i would like a combination of the two. again, taking the process prologue and sticking my neck out, unless there are some very, very important and radical shifts in policy, i believe that iraq will be a state, on a status economy where the major elements that constitute an economic order apart from the oil sector which is highly improbable, that it would be in any sense or form allowed to be privatized or to have major private players in it. the other aspects of the economy, i think, would continue to be dominated by the state, and the various institutions associated with economic acti activity will be, i believe, subject to the usual rules of patronage and so on. so under this general framework, i think there would be a reasonable scope for the private sector, but it will have to
operate in an environment that would be dominated by the state, by the state organizations and enterprises and will be an environment which will be tilted definitively in that direction. will economic policy be any different in the next ten years than it was in the last six or seven years? and, again, unless some dramatic changes are made in the way in which the economic policy is projected or transferred to specific rules and regulations and policy decisions, i think, again, it will be, one that would be driven by impulse, by short-term needs and short-term considerations in spite of the fact we are part of the world trade organization and would be subject to constant pressure from our friends and allies to toe the line. 's in reality, this has very little affect in iraq and i don't think, if will you just project a trend line it will be
an economic policy that would be by and large one that would respond to, as it were the ex-jaenss of the moment. looking at a security sector. the military, especially the military and the internal security services. will these be able to maintain public order? well, they have two functioning in any state. one, defend the frontiers and the other maintain public order in case of breakdown and civil order. i think they will be able to maintain the external frontiers of the state against any threats that may emanate from whichever country, unless these threats are so overwhelming and so immediate and concern national security, countries like turkey i think by and large very few countries will try to attack iraq as iraq as long as the u.s. military is one way or another in the country. so i think our military will be able to maintain the borders,
will be able to maintain and control civil services. i think, yes. i believe the state will always have predominance over any single individual or group that may arise to threaten it, including a recombined insurgency which i think is highly improbable, anyway. it may about serious problem if there is direct confrontation between the state and the kurdistan region government. i hope it does not happen but we're speaking theoretically. will the current military disposition allow the government to control serious shifts in regional, national frontiers? probably not. there was, i think -- and i think the utmost will be done to avoid such a likelihood. will the security services do their job of finding out the
actions of insurgents, of malfactors of all kinds of people that are trying to destroy the political order? i think, yes. they're becoming more and more adept that. i think they're learning quite a lot in terms of modern security and interrogation methods, and in spite of the flaws and faults of the last few months, in time i think they are growing. however, we have several of them now. we have one security service that is by and large related to countermanneding as it were coming from, threats coming from iran. one security service that is connected to the prime minister's office. we have one connected to the military. we have one that's connected to the ministry of interior. so depending on the strength of these institutions, these will wax and wane as to where priorities are. will we have a national security service in 2020 that will obey the instructions of the government and abide by the
constitution in ways that happens in most modern countries? i would say yes and no. they will still be subject to local pressures and local threats, but the trend line there i think is the right direction. in terms of iraq's international relations, how will these relationships look like? well, there are several key actors, each has a profound influence on the future course of events in iraq. the most important, obviously, non-regional is the united states. will the iraqi relationship with the united states be along the lines in which it is envisioned in the security agreement? in the non-military side, non-security side, i would say, yes. in the sort of softer areas of the economic, cultural and social interchange and so on. i think, yes, this is probably one of the cornerstones i think,
that one can build on, and i can envision a country in 2020 that has a large number of, for example, graduates who came from the united states. a large number of nongovernmental organizations, a large number of cultural offices and exchanges. so that relationship at least the cultural level will be maintained, if not strengthened. with iran, how will iran's relationship with iraq be? i think it's to do with the general pattern in which iraq is going to resolve its regional issues. whether we're going to continue to act as a one-armed partner in the area where we try to weave ourselves in a broader way into a larger economic framework and political framework that would include kunds like turkey, iran, even syria and possibly the gcc. if something like that evolves as in the manifest interests of the country of the area, then,
perhaps, we will be able to create a regional con fedder thags will transcend the current limitations that we have. will this happen in 2020? i think the odds are possibly in that direction. we see greater interests obviously on the part of turkey to reconfigure. iran also has, i think, whether with or without the structure of government, important economic and political relationship that must not be ignored. there are other factors that will have, come to a conclusion. there are other factors i think that are at work that have not been looked at. one of them is the age of the population. we have a very, very young population. we have also a rapidly growing population. we have a population that has been very badly impoverished. income in iraq in real terms in the year 1978 was nearly $3,000. about three times what it is
now. so we've had a real dim munition of people's incomes. ultimately, of course, a lot depends on the flow of oil and whether the current agreements that we've entered into or subsequent agreements have the potential of doubling iraq's oil every four years. if that happen, then one of the important and critical bottlenecks that can stop us from achieving in 2020, a financial stake of the country, i think will be resolved. lastly, i think in the terms of states preferably relationship with iraq be a centralized state with a powerful central government and weak provincial authorities? the answer, i think, is no. i think we already have moved into a decentralized level, but not one which would lead to the replication of the kurdistan arrangements and other parts of iraq, but we are more of a federal state, and i think we'll
continue to be that in 2020. there are other [applause] >> we have about 15 minutes for questions, and lots of them. a lot of them are bunched around external neighborly influence. we have a panelist on our last panel that announced that kuwait would be participating in the iraq election. [laughter] let me ask the panelists, your assessments of outside interference, what makes you think that syria will interfere in iraq on behalf of the sunnis, and about turkey's role after the u.s. withdrawal? >> iran's behavior is more of a
function of its relations with the united states and its interest in iraq. its interest in iraq is not inconsistent with those of the united states or those of iraq. that is what it has. at the moment, and there's no particular reason to destabilize it, unless it was -- unless iran decides to do so for reasons that revolve arranged their relations with the u.s. and so the degree to which tensions with the u.s. increase over extraneous issues, the nuclear issue being the principle one, likely to intensify conflict will be the most important determinant of iran over the next few years as it relates to iraq. in terms of turkey, it will be,
the behavior of the kurds both on the bbk and on the border region minorities and the border region that would be most likely to provoke some kind of intervention. so i think those are the dangers. they're not insurmountable, and it's not inevitable that there will be intolerable levels of interference, but it's certainly possible. >> rend? >> yes. i would differ with that slightly, because i think a lot has to do with the way that iran and turkey see themselves in the region. in other words, the way they define their role in the region. i don't think, for example, for turkey the only issue in iraq is the kurds. it used to be at a certain point, but we've seen turkey evolve politically, and we've seen it redefine its regional role, and i think, therefore, it's relationship with iraq will
trumpsend or go beyond this interest in the kurds. similarly, iran sees a role for itself in the region that is not only connected with the u.s. much broader. so they will continue to have interest in iraq beyond the narrower interest. and by the way, i mean, those who know history know that iraq and baghdad in particular was throughout the 16th and 17th century subject to waves of invasions, successive invasions from persia at one time, turkey at the other time, and it would change hands all the time. the other thing to point out in all of this is that because over the last several years, since 2003, iraq has not clearly defined itself as an arab state, for example. not that i'm suggesting it needs to, but in the past, there was always a host. there was always a context for iraq.
which was the arab world. and that tended to slightly sort of ease off, possibly turkish pressure and so on, but now iraq does not necessarily recognize its arabness and its belonging to an arab world, and that makes the regional influences and agendas much more -- much sharper. they come into much better focus. >> there's a series of questions on the issue of corruption i'd like to ask both michael corbin and ali allawi, naming iraq third from the bottom, bulls also endemic. you want a passport, it's $300 to the guy behind the desk. it's not just institutional it is say cross the board. i wondered if both of you can speak to you generally said it was an issue of free press and the judiciary -- how long do we
wait for that? and is it already in place? before that happens? >> quickly, it's about a free press that's willing to publicize these cases. it's about a judiciary that's willing to present cases about them, and it's about a government that's willing to actually prosecute them. this is where i think that institutions in iraq are developing. the counsel of representatives is taking on its role of calling on ministers accused of krups corruption. there's lots more to do. i think there's a basis to work with there. i think this will be a focus that we have to work on and i think iraq may be ahead of some other countries in the region in terms of what we have to work with to address this issue. >> ali allawi? >> i'm afraid i slightly disagree, because i think option in iraq is really institutionalized in the sense that it's part and parcel, whatever you want to do with the government. the fact of the matter is that a lot of the, especially the larger cases of corruption were exposed by the press.
a lot of the actors were known, but there was not a political will to bring them to task. and the international environment that helped or that supported the iraqi desire to bring these people to justice. scale of corruption in some of the ministries really goes beyond the 5% or whatever people charge in commissions. it goes into theft of state assets and entire budgets and to some extent, this is so interwoven with the political parties and the with the power structures that it's very, very difficult, i think, except when the thing becomes so obvious and so immediately tangible, as what happened in the case of the corruption in the ministry of trade. it was institutionalized because in the past although the state was corrupt in the saddam period, 2 basically managed the corruption, and there was powerful force called the security forces which if people did not toe the line as to how
much they could take, it was sanctioned. this is gone. and the various institutions that managed the process of uncovering practices are themselves infiltrated and of the government constantly changes tacts as to how to manage and how to go after those who indulge in these practices. so i think it will stay with us for some time to come. >> may i ask the panel in general, is there a place for high-ranking baathist members of the former ra seim, dip mitts, mince stars not accused of abuse to take part in politics? i suppose we should start with the two iraqis. >> well, there are two levels to this. first of all in the constitution about the party's planned. so i think that somebody who's running under the banner of the baath party would not be able to run for anything. but the other -- the other part of it is that it's deep
addification law has been replaced by the accountability and whatever -- amnesty. amnesty. and i believe in it the people who have not committed crimes can participate in government. i think above a certain rank they can't, but they can retire. they can be pensioned off. below a certain rank, and that rank is fairly high, they can participate in anything they wish. now, that is the sort of diore part of it, but in fact, i think the ambassador were, even if they were low and so on, still regarded on as very suspect. they are -- i'm sure they would be hounded out of office, out of their jobs. so the reality -- the laws and the reality don't necessarily match. >> i think the underlying
premise of this question is that those who came after 2003 don't have the necessary qualifications and the engravitas as it were to run the state and we have this cadre of people whose only fault is that they joined the baath party, otherwise they were incredibly competent and i personally don't believe that. the high baathist officials, some were good, some were not, like we had after the -- after the invasion. nevertheless, a lot of parties, and some extremely high ranking, managed to infiltrate the political process by joining political parties and their sins were forgiven. i remember when i was in the government, there were several incidents of very, very high-level baathists for one reason or another was xavrpted from the de-baathification. so it's not really hard and fast rule that if you're a senior baathest, somehow or or you're not allowed to enter into political practice unless your livelihood was, your line is
broken. this is not the case i think. with that in mind i still maintain that these people are working for a state that by and large put us into two wars and was responsible for the invasion of creating the circumstances by which our country was invaded. so i can't by any standard see why they should be allowed to misgovern the country again. >> anything to add? >> well i do think that the scale of de-baathification has been somewhat exaggerated in popular imagination, popular per spepgs. perception. the de-baathification process affected 1% of baath party member. in other words, only 1 in 100 of baath party members were affected meaning 0.1% of the population as whole. in other words, one person in 1,000. stow was far less sweeping than it is generally, appeared to be. in groats numbers the numbers were fairly high. several tens of thousands of
officials lost their igs positions, unlike denounceification where a much higher percentage, 25 times higher percentage, nome were banned from public office, they were banned from anything except manual labor, whereas in iraq they were only banned from public office and could hold any other profession they chose. the -- so the number, the total numbers were more limited than generally appreciated. in fact, the total numbers were probably not very different than the number of officials that change jobs when democrats replaced republicans in this country, if you had all state, local and federal elections at the same time. and then the turnover in patronage positions would be on a somewhat similar scale. it's not unusual or that if --
that the new politicians, like mr. allawi, who took office in 2003, would expect to find positions in the administration for their supporters rather than saddam's. that's how our system work, and it's certainly how other systems than are drooven work, and so i'm afraid we' >> up next on "the communicator's." the founder of twitter, craig's list, and others. and the supreme court case on whether it is constitutional to sentenced to the aisles to life in prison. and the chance to see the memorial service for jack nelson, a pulitzer prize-winning reporter and author.
>> sunday, on "newsmakers." senator judd gregg talk about the future of the health care bill in the senate. >> the senate, my guess is they will get them. the president is investing his political domestic policy future on this. this is his number one item, a tremendous amount of personal capital. i think the bill is going to pass. i don't know what is going to end up being. i expect it will pass the senate and much more benign than what happened in the house in the area of expense and government. but when they get to conference, i think it will move very hard to the left, become a very expensive bill, a robust public plan initiative that will lead to a single-payer system in fiber 10 years. they will bring them back out of
conference and have one procedural vote to get it passed. when they bring it initially across the floor of the senate, there'll be one procedural vote. on final passage, they will only need 51 votes. they can let some of their folks go and vote against the bill and still pass it. if you're looking at it, the percentage of passage is fairly high for a fairly bad bill. >> you can see the entire interview sunday at 10:00 a.m. eastern and 6:00 p.m. eastern. >> c-span's documentary of one of the most stunning buildings in washington is now available on dvd. "the supreme court: home to america's highest court." would take the place is only accessible to the justices and their staff. hear about the history and traditions from the justices themselves. own your own copy.
it is $9.95 plus shipping and handling. order at c-span.org/stor. -- [unintelligible] -- c-span.org/store. >> we spoke with these officials as well as others at the recent government 2.0 summit here in washington d.c.. this is a conference focused on how technology can be used to bring transparency to government. first off, here is the co- chaired. -- co-chair. >> what is the summit about? >> i realized some time ago that there is a huge upwelling in interest for software developers getting access to government data. a lot of times, the future
occurs in fits and starts. they're people that are called hackers, i call them alpha geeks. the industry then catches up. one of the first match-ups was putting chicago city reports on to a map. since then, we have seen that kind of application spread over the last year. the city of washington d.c. had an official contest to try to get applications, putting data on a map. it is time to bring all the people together that are working on these kinds of forward- looking applications, to learn from each other, and to tell us more about how we can start thinking of government data. there are a lot of analogies about what we did, to tell a
story about how the government is becoming a platform. how did the government become a platform to citizens? the chief strategy officer at microsoft and the chief research officer says, it is really about how we make new applications that are easier, and we are delivering services to citizens. what we're seeing are private citizens developing these applications, responding to the challenge. it is the reprise of what we start earlier, and what kind of infrastructure do we need so that we can deliver by found -- iphone applications on the spot, when they needed? how can we take this huge government database and present it in a new way? >> what is the administration done for the efforts?
>> barack obama was elected using social media, and it brought a lot of attention to this field. it is way more than federal officials using social media or agencies developing competing strategies. it is about a new way of thinking how we bring services to citizens. that is the heart of what we're trying to accomplish. >> as far as the ability for government to use these platforms to the average person? >> is not just the ability for government to get information out, it is about the citizens and get information out. government getting information out sounds like it is a 1-way flow. what i am really trying to encourage here is thinking about innovation. a really good analogy is what is happening with the eye fell on
-- iphone. there was a lot of government procurement. they figure out what they're going to offer on the platform, and that is the phone. they put together this really interesting suite of applications. there are an enormous -- there is an enormous out welling of creativity. the federal interstate highway system did not tell us what to put at the end of the highways. when they funded the internet, they did not tell us about and points. a lot of what we are starting to see it with services like data.gov and other initiatives coming out of the obama administration is really this idea that if we build new kinds of services, low-level services, the private sector and
private individuals will be in power to build new ways to access those services. things that the government would not do itself. there is an interesting angle to this that when you think like a platform provider, you get more with less. there is this debate between republicans and democrats where republicans want to say that democrats want to spend more money and the democrats are saying, we just want to get more services. if you do the platform right, you can spend more and achieve more. -- spent the last and achieve more. -- spend less and achieve more. we're trying to do is take some of the best lessons from technology providers and try to apply that the government so that governance technology spending is more offending -- the government's technology spending is more of effective.
>> the use of social media was a large topic at the event, and one of the participants was jack dorsey, the founder of twitter. >> di think the government knows that the use social media? >> i have been impressed with how the -- i think they are using it more and more. they're making themselves more approachable to every citizen. i think it has been a learning process. we are moving very quickly. >> do you advise the government? >> if they ask me questions, i certainly tried help, but for the most part, we like to be hands off. i say "we," because i'm a part of this thing that we call government, this place that we call the united states of america.
>> what do you think the most valuable lesson the government can learn about how to use social media like twitter? >> is best to update it as a human, not an institution. someone that works as an institution -- at an institution. if you remain on that level and to engage people constantly, you listen and respond. that is really engaging. it gets people interested in what you have to say. >> is the white house with you on how to best use that? >> that is how it should be. there is a process. at the white house is going to use it in a very particular way. it is different than how my mother uses it. >> because it is a source of media, the white house and the federal government has offered
regulation and feels that it sometimes these to be done. do you ever fear regulation of twitter? >> we're always looking about -- at what is coming. we want to make sure that communications days unbiased. -- communication stays unbiased. the government is really driving the technology and finding where it is going. >> as far as government deals with emerging technologies, was the best way to make it work as far as the regulatory process? some would advocate a light touch, some would advocate a heavier touch. >> i would open it up to a conversation. it is debated in public. that way, we can all determined the future of the communication.
>> are you making any lobbying for twitter? >> who are you talking to? >> everyone. >> are you surprised with the way that water has gone in regards to it being a communication tool? >> we knew that the concept was very large and that we had been working on for a long time. we knew this concept was very large. we did not know the velocity would be so quick. we were caught a little bit by surprise, but that is the most exciting thing. people are defining what this means to them. they are determining where the technology goes. to create a system that allows for that is very rare. it is really precious.
>> are you concerned about people that abuse twitter? >> absolutely, and we're watching it very closely. our users are also policing what is going on in the system. they're reporting bad behavior or things that look like it doesn't really help the system or network. it is something that we have to do and constantly reiterate on. >> talk about privacy issues. with any kind of electronic communication, privacy is always an issue. are there areas of privacy that particularly concerned your platform? how do you keep ahead of it? >> these are concerns that are shared through many technology companies and many organizations. we have learned a lot from many organizations. more less, we take the stance of
user controls. >> do you make right -- money with a letter? >> we do not have a revenue stream right now. the company is working very hard on determining what that future looks like. will this sustain activity, will this sustain usage? if it does, what comes from that. with every feature we built and every revenue we explore, is this going to sustain usage? >> also attending the government 2.0 , you might know him as the founder of the craig's list.
>> what about privacy and issues concerned on your site? >> i have been a member of groups like the electronic frontier foundation for a long time. only recently have light realize how much i learned in high school history and civics. -- only recently have realized how much i learned in high school history and civics class is. it is a balance, something we have known for some time. >> as far as specifics, how has the company changed the business model? have there been significant changes? >> we have changed very slowly. we have had a vision that we have been community driven. >> since your community-driven, what happens as far as to put information on the site? in terms of services, things to
sell, the kind of thing. >> people can put what they want, but they have to follow our guidelines. we have a filing system that makes the site adhesives. it works pretty well. it is not perfect, but like churchill says, democracy has its weaknesses, but it is the best system we have tried. if you see something that is wrong for some reason, flagging. -- flag it. if other people flag it, it is removed automatically. it seems to be done very consistently. sometimes, we pay a lot of attention to things ourselves. if there is a problem, i will take a look. >> what is the point of your intervention, either personally, or from the company's standpoint. >> my e-mail is craig@cra
igslist.org. my phone number is spreading along the law-enforcement community. >> as far as people sending it to them, or you working directly with them? >> both. >> how long has that been going on? >> a couple of years or so. it is my personal commitment. law enforcement people work hard and want to have their back. >> where technology meets the workings of government, where does craig's list fall on that? >> not much directly. in spirit, where a simple platform where people help each other out and give each other a break. people work together to make things better for other people. that is what government is about. right now, what government is becoming is a place where
citizens need and want, wowhere what citizens have the same matters. there are a lot of people inside government and working with government, and somehow, the universal feeling is that what government workers does matters, it makes a difference. that is a new feeling, something they have not felt for years. >> your you talking to and the government? >> i am speaking to a variety of people. my personal focus has to do with veterans. as a board memeber, -- member, i have an affinity
-- i should take it personally and reciprocate. >> whether it be your side or other sites, and how do you advise them to reach out to people? people that don't have access to washington dc or the ability to come here? >> customer service done in good conscience is public service. agencies should reflect on the reverse public service -- on the reverse. public service involves customer service. it involves the community and the public no matter what we do. that is working. there are sometimes some government barriers to doing that. if someone working in public- private partnership does not -- does a better job than government, there should be some way to repair the regulatory
burden to make that work better. >> thank you. >> one of the stated goals of the obama administration is to use technology to bring transparency to government. during the summit, we talked with the director of the white house open government initiative. >> how would you describe the initiative? >> it was the obama administration's effort to drive policy on three things. transparency, [unintelligible] , and collaboration. >> when you say more open, what does that mean? >> let me explain what i mean about these values. transparency refers to the workings of government, more accessible and available on line.
public availability is for people to download it. participation refers to working in ways that allows us to get better information than the government. we recognize that we don't have a monopoly on all of the best information, but we need tools on how to get that information so we can make the best decisions. collaboration is slightly different. it is not necessarily getting people to come the government, it is taking the government out to the people. bringing it to americans so that we can work together on solving problems collectively. >> as far as those initiatives, where there a series of websites that people can look at? how do make it more accessible to them? >> but as a good question. it is not all about technology. you're just making wiki's and blogs.
it is quite the opposite. we of 24,000 web sites, and it does not necessarily make the government more open. decisions still get made behind closed doors. policy is made by the same people. it is different to change the processes and practices. when we make policy or make a decision, how we go about consulting the people early in the process rather than late in the process? we need web based tools to help do that. social networks allow us to find people and connect with them. we need to look for ways to give out money. how do we do that and more open ways, the people know about the opportunity to participate? and how do we do a better job of articulating the challenges and problems that we face, getting
the word out to people and inviting their suggestions and ideas. the web is the delivery vehicle, but it is not the end, only the means. >> do people send you an e-mail, go to the facebook page, send you a twitter? >> involves a lot of people, and we're a small effort designed to work with a much larger government on making this change happened so that every agency is trying new ways to bring this kind of openness to the way we work. let me tell you about the issue of open government policy itself. in addition to giving people e- mail as a waiter reach us, we also set up an on-line forum to share ideas with us on line in a
simple fashion. then we had a much longer discussions period, where we look at issues in detail. finally, we move toward the drafting phase. it suggests specific words that we might draft in the policy. early in the administration, not of people knew about the opportunity. -- and not enough people moot -- knew about the opportunity. we just let people know that this is happening, giving them the opportunity to participate. it is crucial. this is just the beginning of a model, a way of engaging people more. we were really at the outset of starting, and lots of people have a role in making that happen. >> do have a centralized website where people can go? >> it is
www.whitehouse.gov/open. it is not only about it happening in the white house, but we try to get the word out about things happening in the agencies, whether it is the f.d.a. launching a new blog, or the consumer product safety commission launching a new web site. we try to get the word out there about things going on all around the government. it is also where we look to people like the folks here in the room to help us spread the word using their networks, their mailing lists, to let people know there is the opportunity to get engaged. >> and finally, we will hear from the founder of environmental systems research institute. the company uses geographical maps to easily display information. we talked about how the federal agencies can benefit from the
technology. >> tell me what the initials gis mean. >> geographic information systems, this is the kind of system where people put geographic data into it. >> so i'm driving along and see one of the gps systems, is that your technology? >> is connected, but it is a little different. people at trees, delete trees. they add and delete roads and power lines. there are spatial analysis views of that data. in the sense that is transaction only maintained, the availability of the data is very intuitive. people love maps because they can navigate around them and understand things very quickly.
it is quite an interesting technology because it is selling intuitive. -- so intuitive. >> we have everything from fed ex, ngo's and conservation. the state, local, and government level organize the facilities where they manage the environment. people drove for oil. people locate storms. people like starbucks, mcdonald's, all these different companies manage land records with it. they view it as a map, but they also manage water facilities and power lines. you can bring all these layers of information together, so it is very much integrative technology. so when we talk about the federal government, we talk about stovepipes of data lie
forest data, watergate, environmental data. -- water data, environmental data. not just visually, but analytically. i can have one layer on top of the other and connects the geometries that connect the data. and we can see things. it is data mining, doing interpretations about the way the world works. it can also be used for design and decision making. where should i look it? where should i not locate? what areas are particularly difficult from a security standpoint to protect? where the bad guys? they need to be able to locate -- to know where to allocate things more effectively. you can predict or understand where problems are, like where they have low rates or averages?
where did they have large pot holes. >> and you can see exactly where they need to go. >> and normal citizens of maryland can see where he is spending money. he is putting money not where rich people are, he puts money where the need is. he is very fond of saying it doesn't matter whether i am aware of the committee or poor community, and white community or a black community, i put the money where the need is. this is the kind of transparency for government -- it is taking data, specializing it, and piping it into maps. >> efficiently, and if not, how can they use it more efficiently? >> gis has beenemerging for 40
years. the web platform allows us to serve the maps from many different resources. they call that mashups, using simple tools. that means geography, the ability to integrate data is opening up for everybody. what is required for that is that the government agency not only puts their data out so you can download it, you have to be pretty geeky to take data and manipulated in some way. agencies should put data up as services that i can overlay 1 map on top of another map and bring them together. it is very easy to use, continuous, sort of like the consumer mapping sites that we see with search engines data.
-- the authority of government data. agencies throughout the federal government, agencies use my software to be able to create data. this is just a beginning trend. just like the web, is going to spread like fire. consumers will become literate in geography and geographic manipulation. i call it societal gis. the recovery.org organization is going to be publishing a web site that is going recovery.gov, the next generation. they have been working very hard to specialize all the projects on the web. it will open up to americans when the money -- users will be able to pan, zoom, and see if there is a bridge to nowhere
kind fo thing -- kind of thing in my neighborhood. there will be mistakes in the data. it is a huge step to make government data available, and have it in a form that mere mortals can understand and play with. >> thank you for or time. >> if you like to see any of these interviews or previous programs, visit our homepage at c-span.org. fcc chairman julius genekowsky will be our next guest on the communicators.